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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > TV & Media

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View Poll Results: Which Best Picture nominee in 1996 most deserved the Oscar?
The English Patient 2 6.90%
Fargo 20 68.97%
Jerry Maguire 4 13.79%
Secrets & Lies 0 0%
Shine 3 10.34%
Voters: 29. You may not vote on this poll

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Old February 9 2009, 05:34 PM   #1
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TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

13th in a series of polls examining which, of the original Academy Award nominees, should have won. Up next: Best Picture, 1996. Comments encouraged.
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Old February 9 2009, 06:30 PM   #2
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

For comparison, the top-rated English language feature films of 1996 on IMDB are:

Fargo (8.3)
Trainspotting (8.1)
Sling Blade (8.0)
Secrets & Lies (7.9)
Breaking the Waves (7.7)
Hamlet (7.7)
Lone Star (7.6)
Primal Fear (7.6)
Shine (7.6)
Star Trek: First Contact (7.6)
Swingers (7.6)
Waiting for Guffman (7.5)

Jerry Maguire scores a 7.3 and The English Patient a 7.2.

The English Patient was handsomely made, but generally cold and uninvolving. My vote goes to the superb Fargo.
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Old February 9 2009, 06:31 PM   #3
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

My vote goes to Fargo. The only other film I've seen here, Jerry Maguire, was well-made, but nothing truly exceptional. I don't understand all the accolades that were heaped upon it. I haven't seen the other three films, although I suspect I wouldn't be as interested in The English Patient as others.

Edit to add: Trainspotting went without a nomination, but Slumdog Millionaire was recognized by the Academy? Stupidity personified.
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Old February 9 2009, 06:31 PM   #4
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

Difficult to pick a winner there, they're all very good rather than great films. I went with Fargo because it's my favourite.
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Old February 9 2009, 06:42 PM   #5
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

Fargo.
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Old February 9 2009, 06:44 PM   #6
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

Hirogen Alpha wrote: View Post
Edit to add: Trainspotting went without a nomination, but Slumdog Millionaire was recognized by the Academy? Stupidity personified.
qft, but I think Slumdog is way overrated anyway.

Fargo was a great movie, The English Patient is just yet another one of these boring romance films the Academy seems to love so much.
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Old February 9 2009, 09:53 PM   #7
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

Don't care what anyone says. I LOVE The English Patient and I'm glad it won. I've seen this movie about 25 times now, and I love it still. And am of the firm opinion that with the possible exception of Johnny Depp not winning Best Actor for Pirates of the Caribbean and Clark Gable not winning Best Actor for Gone With The Wind, Ralph Fiennes was the most ROBBED actor of all time for Best Actor.

Further, I think Fargo is extremely overrated. Not to mention just plain gross in parts (one part in particular). I mean, we are talking about a movie that takes place in the Dakotas, 'fer cryin' out loud. How exciting could it be?
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Old February 9 2009, 11:55 PM   #8
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

I liked Fargo best out of the bunch, but I think that was a pretty good year. No problem with English Patient winning, but it wasn't my favorite movie.
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Old February 10 2009, 01:25 AM   #9
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

Trainspotting was a gem. It should've been recognised.
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Old February 10 2009, 01:59 AM   #10
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

Fargo is kind of pointless, except not in a real life sort of way.

Jerry Maguire was a sentimental comedy but it had a viewpoint. So, I picked it. If I remembered (or even saw) Secrets and Lies I might have picked it.

But Lone Star should have been the best picture of the year. First time, I saw Matthew McConaughey (sp?) do a good job. (He was rather good in the indie Tiptoe too.)
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Old February 10 2009, 02:04 AM   #11
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

Fargo is absurd, but not in way that's wholly untrue to the Midwest it depicts, at least of what I've experienced visiting Wisconsin and Minnesota. The film takes all the mundane details of suburban Midwestern life and lets them spiral out of control in a twisted, and unbelievable way only the Coen brothers could imagine. But isn't that the point of the opening text--announcing everything you're about to see is true when it plainly isn't sort of lets the audience in on the joke, no?

What do you find so reprehensible about it, stj?
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Old February 10 2009, 03:29 AM   #12
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

"Kind of pointless" doesn't even suggest reprehensible. The antics of the diminished characters in Fargo and No Country for Old Men just aren't that interesting.
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Old February 10 2009, 04:01 AM   #13
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

A very poor choice of words on my part. For that I apologize. But I'm still curious as to how their antics are not "interesting." Perhaps we just disagree on that point, but I'm curious as to your line of thinking here.
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Old February 10 2009, 04:25 AM   #14
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

^^^Macy's character not only didn't have a tragic fall, it was just the pathetic and contemptible usual for him. The apparent stance that society is fundamentally absurd is just a mystification taken at face value. Things may be horrifically bleak if you look beneath the surface but it's not just because everyone (else?) is such a stupid loser. Except Fargo doesn't quite have that viewpoint but near as I can tell it doesn't say much else.

It's not as inventive and sprightly as Big Lebowski or Hudsucker Proxy or the Odyssey comedy (wait, wasn't Raising Arizona one of their comedies too?) It was too bland and slow to succeed as a comedy. Nor was it as focused as Blood Simple. It wasn't even as focused as Miller's Crossing. Fargo was better than No Country for Old Men, though.
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Old February 10 2009, 04:45 AM   #15
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Re: TrekBBS Academy Awards #13: Best Picture, 1996

I think the comedy in Fargo works because it inverts the clichés of the crime movie. The point is not uniquely my own, as Laura Miller wrote about it for Salon.com in a review, I should admit, that does not fully embrace the film. To quote the appropriate passage.

From this basic good vs. evil story the Coens have subtracted all the glamour and grit usually attendant on crime dramas. No one says anything clever, or dresses well. There's very little sex, and what there is of it is unsexy. There is only one chase scene, and that unsuspenseful. The detective, a very nice pregnant lady, punches nobody, and suffers no cynical, tormented loneliness as the result of her work (in fact, she has a very nice husband who paints wildlife pictures for stamps). The villains consist of a fool and a sullen lout. No colorful, underworld characters, or sinister, rain-slicked urban alleys.
Macy's character was certainly pathetic, although I'm unsure if this had become cliché for him at this point in his career or if Fargo begun the trend. His decision to have his wife kidnapped comes early in the film, but it is the first step in his undoing. You might call it his tragic fall. The character is so unlucky, of course, that he continues to fail in every scene that he is in.

But if the humor of the banality of the Midwest (which has been my only experience of that region after visiting it several times, as many family members reside there) juxtaposed with the dark world of crime is ineffective on you, I can understand your disenchantment with the film.

Actually, it makes quite a bit of sense that you don't like No Country for Old Men, either. That film basically does the same thing--subverts our expectations of a crime drama--but without the dark comedy of Fargo.
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